Changing the setting of any user interface component does not automatically cause a change of context unless the user has been advised of the behavior before using the component. (Level A)

Rationale

The purpose of this checkpoint is to ensure that when a user changes a setting in the user interface or inputs a value, it does not cause an automatic change of context unless the change can be predicted or the user is notified in advance. Displaying new content is not necessarily a change of context. A change of context is a change in meaning that can disorient a user. Examples of changes of context are:

  • Opening a new window
  • moving focus to a different component
  • going to a new page (including anything that would look to a user as if they had moved to a new page)
  • significantly re-arranging the content

“Changing the setting” of any user interface component is changing some aspect in the control that will persist when the user is no longer interacting with it. So selecting a checkbox or radio button, entering text into a text field, or changing the selected option in a list control changes its setting. In each situation, a user would need prior notice of changes in context.

Activating a link or a button does not “change the setting”, and so does not fall under this checkpoint.

Refer to Understanding SC 3.2.2  for more information (external link to WCAG).

Development Techniques

Review the General techniques as well as other tabs applicable to your technology.  Prioritize the use of technology-specific techniques, and implement the General techniques as needed. You are always required to find, understand and implement accessible code techniques to meet the checkpoint. The documented techniques and supplements are not exhaustive; they illustrate acceptable ways to achieve the spirit of the checkpoint. If numbered, techniques are in order of preference, with recommended techniques listed first. Where used, IBM information that complements the WCAG techniques is indicated as supplemental.

General techniques

Any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient. Ensure you review WCAG Common Failures to avoid development mistakes.

Web (HTML, ARIA, CSS) techniques

In addition to the General techniques, any item in this section represents a technique deemed sufficient where appropriate.

Web supplements

The following techniques, examples and comments provide additional information beyond that available in the WCAG techniques.

H84: Using a button with a select element to perform an action

Navigating through a drop-down list must not cause a change of context until the user selects a button to indicate a selection has been made. This can be acheived if, when users navigate through the drop-down list, they are not taken to a new page until they select a Go button. If users move to a new page as they navigate through the list, it is a failure of this checkpoint.

Mobile Native (iOS) techniques

There are no specific Mobile Native iOS techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Eclipse techniques

There are no specific Eclipse techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.

Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques

There are no specific Windows-based (MSAA+IA2) techniques for this checkpoint. Refer to the General techniques section.


Most links in this checklist reside outside ibm.com at the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0. W3C Recommendation 11 December 2008: http://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/

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